Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock – Review
Puzzles and mini-games are the order of the day in Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock.
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Wednesday 13 June 2012
There’s something exaggeratedly British about Doctor Who’s brand of science fiction, with its focus on the cerebral above the brawny, and its foppish protagonist who’d sooner talk his way out of a tight situation than resort to violence.
That’s presumably why puzzles and mini-games are the order of the day in Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock, Super Massive Games’ attempt to bring the enigmatic Doctor to console gamers. And whilst it’s a little flawed, and at times horribly frustrating, there’s enough here for fans of the series to get their teeth into.
The game takes you through four different periods in London’s history, from a storm rattled Elizabethan grain store, through a smog choked Victorian wool mill, a present day Cyberman invasion, and a distant future London that’s been all but annihilated by the Daleks. You’ll also have to face off against Silurians and, in one of the game’s more inspired set pieces, sneak past a group of The Silence whilst making sure you keep at least one of them in your eyeline at all times.
You control either the Doctor, complete with his Sonic Screwdriver, or, after breaking out of the Stormcage prison, River Song, who wields a reasonably ineffectual blaster. You hop between time zones, solving puzzles in one to change things in another. It’s a clever (if obvious) system, and means you get to see the consequences of your time-line meddling actions.
At the core of The Eternity Clock lies some pretty simple platforming. You’ll bound around, pushing switches, stealthily creeping past enemies and clambering up shattered buildings. There are times when your leaps don’t quite work, but more often that not getting to where you need to go is a reasonably hassle free experience.
Once you get there, there’ll be a mini-game puzzle to complete. These range from pipe-mania style pressure release tasks to futuristic hacking games that need you to protect four nodes from red blocks of data while letting the blue blocks pass. None of them are particularly tasking, but they’re entertaining enough, and there are enough variations, that their constant presence never quite annoys.
The Eternity Clock does have some nice ideas, and it’s presented reasonably well too. The voice over performances from Matt Smith and Alex Kingston, reprising their roles from the TV show, are particularly good, and whilst the graphics sometimes look a little dreary, there are some real stand out moments that show the imagination and talent of the team behind the game.
It isn’t going to convert anyone to the Doctor Who cause, and if you’re not a fan of the television series, then it’s best that you give the game a wide berth, but those with even a basic knowledge of the time-travelling Gallifreyan will find a lot to like here.
It’s clumsy in places, and it’s pacing isn’t perfect, but the story is strong enough to drag fans from set piece to set piece, and when the inevitable cliff hanger ending rolls around, you’ll know whether you’re a true Doctor Who devotee depending on how anxious you are to find out what happens next.
Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: BBC Worldwide Digital Entertainment
Life & Style blogs
Versace haute couture review: Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
Why you should never make assumptions about people with autism
People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
- 1 Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
- 2 What supermodels really think about posing in the nude
- 3 North Korean defector flees to Finland 'with evidence of chemical testing on humans'
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...
£25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...